Johannesburg - The competition regulator will from Monday
start hearing an appeal on the proposed merger of Pioneer Hi-Bred, the
agricultural unit of US chemicals group DuPont, and a local seed company after
the deal was blocked last year.
The South African Competition Commission in December
rejected Pioneer's proposed acquisition of Pannar Seed due to concerns about
Pioneer appealed the decision to the Pretoria-based
The hearing, which was slated to start at 08:00 GMT on
Monday, is expected to last for three weeks, the tribunal said on its web site.
The tribunal will then decide whether to approve or prohibit the merger.
In addition to hearing statements from the companies and the
competition commission, the tribunal is also expected to hear submissions from
environmental groups Biowatch South Africa and The African Centre for
Pioneer announced in September last year that it was buying
Pannar Seed in an effort to expand its reach into corn production through
Africa. The companies did not disclose financial terms.
Pannar Seed is the largest seed company in Africa.